Urban Youth Culture in Bangladesh under the Sway of Cultural Globalization: A Descriptive Analysis

Muhammad Zakir Hossin, Mohammad Mohiuddin
2015 Sociology Mind  
This is a descriptive cross-sectional study which aims to present the contemporary youth culture in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, with an emphasis on the underlying role of cultural globalization. To meet the objective of the study, a survey was conducted in 2012 among the students of three leading private universities in Dhaka city. The central theme of the study revolves around the idea that globalization as a process transforms our cultures and affects our lives wherever we live.
more » ... herever we live. There has been a heated debate among the researchers on the issue of media effects on the youths. The debate mainly centers around the question: Does what our young generation watch on the global media really influence their behaviors and choices, or the norms and values associated with those behaviors and choices are strictly learned through the guidance of parents, teachers, peers, and the society at large? This study documents that the global media have large-scale impact on the audiences who are exposed to them. As the survey findings indicate, the urban youth culture in Bangladesh is no longer identical to her long-standing traditional patterns but is found to be melting into western norms of dress-codes, food habits, attitude, and life styles. The study demonstrates that the young generation in urban Bangladesh prefers trendy clothes, fast food, western style of marriage and family, western music, movies, festivals, and so on, reflecting a shift toward a consumer culture with global values. * Corresponding author. solidarity dates back to the tribal epoch which was based on an oral culture characterized by spoken words and human experience was necessarily instant, immediate and collective. On the contrary, the organic solidarity in the industrial epoch was accompanied by technologies of printing machine, paper, roads, and so on, having a large-scale globalizing effect (Baten, 2008) . This is what Giddens (1990) later called "time-space distanciation" characterized by an unprecedented capacity to speed up communications and connect distant localities. The reorganization of space through time, according to McLuhan, was further accompanied by two other important universalizing devices-the mechanical clock and money as symbolic token (Baten, 2008) . The current circumstances constitute a further epochal shift, with the electronic media accelerating the communication network and thereby extending the local culture to global scale. As McLuhan states, "Today, after more than a century of electric technology, we have extended our central nervous system in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned" (McLuhan, 1964: p. 3). This acceleration of electric communication and rapid transition brings about a structural effect that McLuhan calls "imposition". According to him, the effects of technology do not occur at the level of opinions or concepts, but steadily and uninterruptedly alter the "sense ratios" i.e., the patterns of perception. That is, what McLuhan is trying to point out is that the communication media affect our habits of perception and thinking more than anything else (Baten, 2008) .
doi:10.4236/sm.2015.53019 fatcat:a6vn6o7iezcgtfgjbw5n43a6o4